Posted: Thursday 21st August 2014 at 14:45 pm

S Africa MPs halt president’s speech








Economic Freedom Party (EFF) leader Julius Malema (C) arrives to be sworn in as a member of parliament at the South African Parliament in Cape Town on 21 May  2014The EFF MPs often wear red workers’ overalls in parliament


An address to parliament by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has been halted by opposition MPs.

Mr Zuma was responding to allegations that he had “unduly benefitted” from an upgrade to his private home in Nkandla which cost taxpayers about $23m (£14m).

After saying the matter would be handled by government, MPs from the new Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) started chanting: “Pay back the money.”

Parliament was then suspended and security called to oust the EFF group.

Police entered parliament in Cape Town carrying riot shields, tear gas and batons but then aborted their plans to forcibly remove the EFF MPs.


Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residenceThe improvements at Nkandla included a swimming pool and cattle enclosure

The EFF has 25 MPs in the 400-member parliament elected in May after gaining 6% of the national vote.

It was the first election contested by the EFF, led by controversial former youth leader Julius Malema.

He formed the EFF last year following his expulsion from the governing African National Congress (ANC) in 2012.

A one-time ally of Mr Zuma, he had been sacked after the pair fell out, with Mr Malema calling for radical policies to ease poverty.

The EFF often wear red workers’ overalls in parliament.

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